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County Clerk calls for veterans fee waiver
Rensselaer County Clerk Frank Merola, calling it "totally ridiculous" that there is a fee for veterans who want the word "veteran" added to their drivers licenses prior to renewal time, is calling on the governor and the DMV commissioner to eliminate the fee in such cases.
"I am amazed that NewYork State would have the great idea of finally allowing our veterans to have their status printed on their licenses and non-driver ID card and then charge them $12.50 for the privilege," Merola said in a written statement.
Merola says veterans who have been coming to the DMV office he oversees in Troy have been balking at paying the fee to have their license changed. If they wait until renewal time there is no fee.
CBS6 News contacted the governor's' office and was referred to the DMV. A spokesperson there indicated the new option for veterans is regulated by a change in law that was approved by the state legilslature.
When the governor's office announced on October 3 that applications for the changes were being accepted, that office issued a news release containing a quote from Eric Hesse, the Director of the Division of Veteran's Affairs. "This is just one of the many examples of New York State's high level of commitment to honoring and supporting our returning service members," Hesse said.
Veterans who have their status printed on their license may find it more convenient when identifiying themselves and taking advantage of discounts that some businesses offer to veterans.